PLATTSBURGH — The first-ranked Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team will depart for one of its toughest road trips of the season today and Saturday.
The Cardinals (14-0-1, 7-0-0) will challenge No. 10 Utica (11-3-0, 6-2-0) at the Utica Memorial Auditorium for a pair of ECAC West contests.
Plattsburgh collected three out of a possible four points against the Pioneers last season, salvaging a come-from-behind 3-3 tie in the first of two meetings.
“We have no reason to speak about (the tie),” Cardinals coach Kevin Houle said. “We talk about how good of a hockey team they are. They’re a top-10 team, and they’re having a great year. They have a lot of team speed, and we know that.
“It’s certainly a big test. No one assumes we’ll automatically win. Everyone understands they’re a good hockey team.”
Plattsburgh is coming off a two-game sweep of Cortland at Stafford Ice Arena. After an 8-0 victory, the Cardinals put up double-digit goals to record a 10-1 win Saturday.
Plattsburgh maintains a one-point lead in the race for the ECAC West regular-season championship with 14 points, while Oswego (13), Elmira College (12) and Utica (12) are all in the hunt.
“Anytime you play a league game, the points are crucial,” Houle said. “They’re a top-three team in our league. Elmira has already beaten them twice, so in that regard, we have to try and stay even with them.
“Utica is certainly capable of beating anybody. There are four points at stake, and we need to do our best to get all of them. We’re really hitting the meat of our schedule, so every point is big.”
Shannon Stewart (13-7-20) and Allison Era (3-17-20) are the Cardinals’ top point-getters, while Bridget Balisy (7-12-19), Jordan Caldwell (7-10-17) and Jenny Kistner (9-5-14) have also made significant contributions on the offensive end.